Finance minister Arun Jaitley has said authorities will continue to do their job in probing the controversial deal between Vasundhara Raje’s son and Lalit Modi even as the Congress stepped up its attack on the government over the issue.
Speaking on the sidelines of a public event at the Stanford University on Monday, Jaitley also denied saying that the deal was a commercial transaction, which the opposition has alleged amounted to giving “clean chit” to Dushyant Singh, a BJP MP.
“I have never used such a word. That is never part of my domain,” Jaitley told reporters when asked about opposition’s allegations, adding, “That is clear misinterpretation of (what I said). Whatever various assessing authorities in India have to do, it’s their job. They would continue to do that.”
Singh, son of Rajasthan chief minister Raje, has been under attack over media reports that his company received Rs 11.63 crore in investments from Modi in 2008, adding to the troubles of the party already battling the fallout of foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and Raje helping the former IPL commissioner get UK travel documents.
The Opposition Congress had pounced on Jaitley’s purported comments that “I do not want to comment on him (Modi), but it’s a commercial transaction between two individuals.”
On Monday, the leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “It is a clear-cut cover-up. We charge the finance minister with influencing the Enforcement Directorate (ED) probe in Raje’s son Dushyant Singh and Lalit Modi’s case.”
Swaraj and Raje have also been facing flak for “helping” Modi in procuring travel documents in the UK, a country which he has made his home to avoid legal processes in India.
Modi, 49, travelled to London in 2010 after the Indian Premier League (IPL) became embroiled in allegations of match-fixing and illegal betting.
On Tuesday, the Congress stepped up its attack on Raje, with Sachin Pilot saying in Jaipur that Raje must resign on moral and legal grounds, to allow for a clear investigation into her alleged links with Modi.
“The BJP is saying that till the time documents aren’t verified, they won’t ask CM Raje to step down. But who will verify them?” asked Pilot.
Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari had met Raje on Monday and said that the BJP as well as the Centre are strongly behind her as the “accusations” against her have “no substance”.